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02-03 October 2017 - Current Affairs

US biology trio wins Nobel Medicine Prize

  • The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology (or Medicine) went to US geneticists Jeffrey C. Hall (72-year), Michael Rosbash (73-years) and Michael W. Young (68-years) for their discoveries on how plants, animals, and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth's revolutions.
  • The trio will share the prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor (about 1.1 million US Dollars.)
  • For many years, scientists have known that living organisms, including humans, have an internal clock that helps them adapt to the rotation of the earth.
  • The clock influences such biological functions as hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism.
  • Using the fruit fly as a model organism, the scientists isolated a gene that controls the daily biological rhythm.
  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine.
  • The day was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting resolution A/RES/61/271 in June 2007 to disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness. 

Oct 02: International Day of Non-violence

  • The International Day of Non-violence is celebrated every year on 2 October throughout world on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of Indian independence movement and also pioneer of philosophy of non-violence (ahimsa).
  • The day seeks to promote principles of non-violence through education and public awareness and is observed by all countries of the UN.
  • In India, this day is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti. 
  • The day was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting resolution A/RES/61/271 in June 2007 to disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness. 

Oct 02: World Habitat Day

  • The World Habitat Day was observed all over the world on 2 October 2017.
  • It aims to reflect on state of cities and towns and basic human right to adequate shelter.
  • It also aims to remind world of its collective responsibility for habitat of future generations. 
  • 2017 theme: ‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes’.
  • It focuses on promoting implementation of concrete initiatives to ensure adequate and affordable housing in context of implementation of New Urban Agenda, as well as achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

India unveils third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031

  • India unveiled the third National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031 spelling out the future road map for wildlife conservation. 
  • The plan was unveiled by environment minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on the inaugural day of the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference on Oct 02. 
  • The third action plan comes after the first plan in 1983 and second from 2002 till 2016.
  • The third National Wildlife Action Plan is unique as this is the first time India has recognised the concerns relating to climate change impact on wildlife and stressed on integrating actions that need to be taken for its mitigation and adaptation into wildlife management planning processes.

Nepal, India to conduct first joint tiger count 

  • Nepal and India for the first time will undertake a joint tiger census next month in their national parks, forests and protected areas adjoining the two countries using a globally-recognised method.
  • The counting of tigers will begin from the second week of November.
  • This is the first time that both the countries are counting tiger heads using the same method that is recognised globally.
  • Nepalese and Indian conservation officials had decided to use the camera tapping procedure for the joint. 
  • At the International Tiger Conference in Russia in 2010, participating countries including Nepal had made a commitment to double the tiger population by 2022. 
  • The Chitwan National Park in Chitwan and Parsa Wildlife Reserve of Nepal are adjacent to the Balmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar.
  • Likewise, Nepal’s Bardiya National Park adjoins India’s Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary while the Shuklaphant National Park in Nepal adjoins India’s Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

Global Wildlife Programme Conference held in New Delhi

  • The Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) Conference was recently held in New Delhi with the theme of “Peoples’ participation in wildlife conservation”.
  • It was jointly hosted by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), World Bank and United Nations Development Programme.
  •  The GWP is World-Bank led global partnership of 19 countries in Asia and Africa to promote the conservation and sustainable development by combating trafficking in wildlife.
  • It was initiated in 2015 by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

NHAI launches countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign

  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has launched countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign and distribution of spectacles for truck drivers, cleaners and helpers.
  • It was launched by Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari at Panjari Toll Plaza, Nagpur Bypass, Nagpur in Maharashtra.
  • The objective of this initiative is to ensure clearer vision and safe travel for truck drivers who are most frequent users of national highways. 
  • Eyesight is basic requirement for safe driving. Poor vision increases risk of collisions due to the driver’s inability to recognise and react in time to hazard or behaviour of other road users.

Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple adjudged as cleanest iconic place

  • The Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) was adjudged as the cleanest iconic place in country under Swachhta Hi Seva (cleanliness is service) programme.
  • The temple earned top slot from among 10 iconic places selected by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • It has piped other iconic places such as Taj Mahal, Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Golden Temple, Tirupathi temple and Sri Vaishno Devi temple. 
  • It is historic Hindu temple located on southern bank of Vaigai River in temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
  • It is dedicated to Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, and her consort, Sundareswar, a form of Shiva.
  • It was built during reign of Pandyas.

India gets first-ever U.S. crude shipment

  • India received first ever shipment of US crude oil of 1.6 million barrels, purchased by state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) at Paradip Port in Odisha. 
  • It was imported on board of MT New Prosperity, a very large crude carrier (VLCC) that had left US Gulf Coast on August 19, 2017 and arrived at Paradip port. 
  • This was one of first shipments to India since United States stopped oil exports in 1975.  
  • With this India, the world’s third-largest oil importer joiins other Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, Thailand,  China and Taiwan to buy US crude oil as they seek to diversify oil imports from other regions after the OPEC production cuts raised prices of Middle East heavy-sour crude ( grades with a high sulphur content).

Chandrababu Naidu launches ‘Swachh Andhra Mission’ on Gandhi Jayanti

  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu launched Swachh Andhra Mission on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. 
  • Ace shuttler PV Sindhu, who has been chosen as the brand ambassador of Swachh Andhra along with state minister for Information Technology and Rural Development Nara Lokesh and public representatives, were the dignitaries who joined Naidu on the occasion.

Yatra partners OYO to expand hotel inventory

  • Yatra Online Inc has tied up with OYO to bring the hospitality firm’s inventory on its platform. 
  • The partnership brings OYO’s inventory onto a online travel agent platform and with this Yatra’s total hotel inventory will expand to over 70,000 hotels in India.
  • The company’s partnership with OYO is a firm step in that direction and enables it to deliver a unique proposition to the customers allowing them to choose from a variety of travel and accommodation options in India.
  • OYO founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal said that through this partnership, OYO’s quality-assured hassle-free offerings will be accessible to millions of discerning travellers who book on Yatra.com.

Odisha govt creating land bank for industrial allocation

  • The state govt of Odisha is creating a 1.2 lakh acre land bank across the state for allocation to the industrial sector to avoid a repeat of the Posco fiasco.
  • The objective is to cut red tape and wrangling with local issues in the land acquisition process.
  • The state govt is acquiring government land for industrial use and proposes to offer it with all facilities in place. 
  • The land bank is based on plug-and-play kind of model wherein facilities related to water, power, roads and all clearances are in place.

President appoints Commission to Examine OBC Sub-categorisation

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed five-member commission to examine sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
  • It will be headed by retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G. Rohini.
  • Besides, Dr J K Bajaj, Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Registrar General and Census Commissioner and Joint Secretary from Ministry of Social Justice will be ex-officio members of commission. 
  • The commission will examine extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes included in broad category of OBCs, especially with reference to OBCs included in the Central list. 
  • The commission has been established under Article 340 of Constitution under which Mandal commission had recommended 27% reservation for socially and educationally backward classes, was appointed.

Three gravitational wave detectors win 2017 Physics Nobel

  • Three American physicists have won the Nobel prize in physics for the discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were first anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago.
  • The 2017 Nobel Physics Prize was divided, one half awarded to Rainer Weiss, the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”. 
  • It was announced by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.  
  • Triggered when super-dense black holes merge, the waves were detected using laser beams at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). 
  • The waves detected by the laureates came from the collision of two black holes some 1.3 billion light years away.
  • A light year is about 9.5 trillion km.

Brenda Hale sworn in as first female president of UK’s supreme court

  • Brenda Hale of Richmond becomes the first female President of the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom. While taking her oaths, Lady Hale pledged that she “will do right to all manner of people”.
  • Lady Hale’s deputy is Jonathan Mance who said that her appointment as the president of Supreme Court is “first in many ways”.

Jagan wins sixth title in a row at National Motorcycle Racing

  • TVS Racing’s mascot Jagan Kumar notched his sixth straight title in the premier Super Sport Indian (165cc) class on a rain-affected day to bring down the curtain on the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship. 
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